Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.